The economy is tanking, the sky is falling, locusts eat our crops, and zombies roam the streets looking for brains. So why do some of us keep obsessing with Apple’s products and services? It’s the end of the world and I feel fine I guess…
Anyway, Apple is set to announce that it will finally remove DRM restrictions on music downloads, undoubtedly following Amazon’s DRM-free MP3 download service, and its own successful experiment with iTunes Plus. Apparently, it is already possible to upgrade one’s music collection right now (I’m on the road so I cannot verify this), which opens endless money-spending possibilities for the iTunes enthusiast, and it is undoubtedly one of the reasons why this may have been so appealing for the music industry and Apple.
My New Year’s resolution is not to state the bleeding obvious all the time, but I am going to break it by announcing that this decision was a no-brainer. It has become blatantly apparent to anyone with an eye on the entertainment industry that DRM does not act as a proper deterent, and that it garners particularly bad reactions from the public (remember Spore?). DRM is bad business, bad consumer management, and bad technology. It does not stop determined hackers and pirates from breaking it, and it only acts as a nuisance to users who have to struggle with ludicrous restrictions on whatever one has paid for.
Despite all the doom and gloom in economic terms, the copyright industry is still doing reasonably well. Game, DVD and music sales were up for 2008; download sales went up 33% last year as well, making it another record-breaking year. This despite other sectors of the music industry selling the message that all is bad and more regulation is required in order to curb piracy.
I’m now off to see how to spend more money online.